BIG GRANT: The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service receives a $5000 cheque from GDSC CEO Nathan Whiteside (centre).
BIG GRANT: The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service receives a $5000 cheque from GDSC CEO Nathan Whiteside (centre). Tim Jarrett

Donations benefit community groups

AS PART of the Club Grants initiative, Grafton District Services Club has handed out $49,000 in donations to community groups and charities in the Clarence Valley.

Chief executive Nathan Whiteside said while they were were obliged to give out a certain amount in grants, GDSC made sure they went "over and above” to support organisations that were "dear to us”.

"We have traditionally given money to the chopper for a number of years and it is the same with Cranes,” Mr Whiteside said.

"We also gave $10,000 to the Black Tie Ball committee, which went to the U3A Men's Shed. That is what we are about, giving back.”

Cranes Palliative Care, Grafton RSL Sub-Branch and Camellia Cottage were presented with a cheque for $10,000 and Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter one for $5000.

Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service community liaison officer Jennifer Dowd was extremely grateful for the grant and said the money would go towards an upgrade of the Lismore helipad.

"The helicopter is here at least a couple of times a week either for primary missions, accidents or hospital transfers,” she said.

"It is a free service for the community so it is important that we keep it going and funds like this help go towards keeping that service free and operating.”